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Ford, Nissan, Daimler Join Forces for Fuel Cell Vehicle Advancement

First of all, many thanks to Dave for posting a link in last week’s blog post about the DOE 2012 Annual Report to an article about Ford, Nissan and Daimler joining forces. Because this is such a big story I would like to talk more about it today.

Three of the largest automotive companies (Ford, Renault-Nissan and Daimler – as in Mercedes-Benz and Smart) have formed a strategic partnership to share technology and development fuel cell systems at lower cost than any of the company could do on its own.

According to Daimler, “The goal of the collaboration is to jointly develop a common fuel cell electric vehicle system while reducing investment costs associated with the engineering of the technology. Each company will invest equally towards the project. The strategy to maximize design commonality, leverage volume and derive efficiencies through economies of scale will help to launch the world’s first affordable, mass-market FCEVs as early as 2017.

“Together, Daimler, Ford and Nissan have more than 60 years of cumulative experience developing FCEVs. Their FCEVs have logged more than 10 million km in test drives around the world in customers’ hands and as part of demonstration projects in diverse conditions. The partners plan to develop a common fuel cell stack and fuel cell system that can be used by each company in the launch of highly differentiated, separately branded FCEVs, which produce no CO2 emissions while driving.”

They go onto say, “The collaboration sends a clear signal to suppliers, policymakers and the industry to encourage further development of hydrogen refueling stations and other infrastructure necessary to allow the vehicles to be mass-marketed.”

So, the “chicken or the egg” syndrome has long been a problem with the development of hydrogen autos and infrastructure. Hydrogen auto makers have been reluctant to build vehicles if there is no infrastructure to support them. And, on the other hand, the producers of hydrogen refueling infrastructure have been reluctant to build H2 stations if there are no autos to support them.

The Ford, Nissan and Daimler joint agreement sends a clear signal to the folks building the hydrogen refueling infrastructure including government and business, that they had better put the pedal to the metal in regard to building H2 stations because right now, the development of the autos is far outpacing the building of the fueling stations.


About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen auto blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen autos, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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  1. Avatar

    Only if it makes its own HHO/hydrogen and is cheapper than a Tata Nano. Like many DIY pro’s who already do this with off the shelf technology . The research is done for the “Giants” to follow others. ~ Like Ollie / Olsen /Olsens Marine repair of Seal Beach California in the 50’s ,who converted a hit and miss diesel 1 cylinder farm motor to run on distilled water with a cup shaped piston. ~ After offers from a congressman to supply him with a building facillity ,money and protection ~ Olly burned the letter ,dismantled his prototype and sent it to the junkyard, due to fear even then of being killed for chalenging the oil autotels.. Mr. Olsen was in his 90’s in 1994 when he told me of this steam/HHO process and died 1 month later.

  2. Avatar

    It’s also news worthy to note that BMW and Toyota also signed a binding agreement to develop a hydrogen platform. Their timeline is not quite so aggressive they are looking to 2020 as the completion date.

    I also think its a little sad that the original 2015 date is becoming a little less likely.

  3. Hydro Kevin

    Yes, I think you’re right that the 2015 timeline may be slipping. I think many of the automakers will be ready in 2015, but they’ll be looking around muttering “Where are the fueling stations?”

  4. Avatar

    Why can’t the HydroElectric vehicle be provided with it’s own regenerating station, small but effective…… The customer could provide their own solar or wind generators.
    These giant automakers surely have the ability to produce the home stations.

  5. Hydro Kevin

    There are a few companies and people doing this now. You may want to check out this link about home hydrogen fueling stations:

  6. Avatar

    I have read all of these articles, that are 5-8 years old, that you refer me to….. and I have accessed their sites… They just talk of the future and the history of the Torrance site….. bla bla bla.

    I’ve followed your site for several years. Thank you for being there and keeping us posted. Good job.

    What I look for is some updates…. a progress report… commercial offerings, with prices and availability.

  7. Hydro Kevin

    Hi Ozzie, unfortunately it doesn’t look like home hydrogen fueling stations are on any of the manufacturers front burner right now. I know that ITM Power came up with a prototype a few years back and received negative feedback because of the low PSI output so they have turned their focus elsewhere. I want the same thing you want, but I don’t see much development in that area right now.

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